Free Does TV Shows Like "16 And Pregnant" And "Teen Mom" Promote Teen Pregnancy? Research Paper Sample

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Teenagers, Pregnancy, Teen, Family, Parents, Television, Media, Reality

Pages: 9

Words: 2475

Published: 2021/02/22

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Pregnancy is one of the most incredible and lives changing experience any woman could get in her life. However, it can only be an amazing experience when the child comes with great responsibility and maturity. Unfortunately, in our world today, instead of seeing mature and responsible women having babies, we see babies having babies. Teenage pregnancy is an issue that is growing enormously in the world today. In the United States, teens aged 15-19 have a tendency of getting pregnant each year, and the number is increasing tremendously. It has become an issue, and shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom are to blame for the growing number of pregnant teens. These TV shows tend to glamorize the problem rather than trying to advise our teens to avoid getting pregnant (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy). Parents are facing a big struggle trying to convince their teens to keep off these misleading teen TV shows but to no avail. Most teens are going with the trend, and they will watch the shows when their parents are away or in a friend’s house. If our teens continue watching these types of shows, then at one point, all of them will end up becoming pregnant because of what they see on the shows. Therefore, watching television shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”, underlines the struggles and the complications of becoming a teen parent. These shows have made motherhood look easy by glamorizing the whole issue. By doing this, they are promoting teenage pregnancy, instead of discouraging teens from becoming young parents.
Teen Mom is a reality program that features the lives of four teens who are sharing with the world about being teen moms. The four teenagers made a wrong decision concerning their lives, but according to the show, instead of helping other teens to avoid the mistakes these girls made, the show has rewarded them with fame. Teen Mom is a show that is sending a misleading message to our teens because it is promoting teen pregnancy. Farrah, Amber, Maci, and Catelynn are teen show got pregnant at a younger age, and instead of the show using them to educate other teens against teenage pregnancy. Teen Mom is using them to promote teenage pregnancy. The TV show has made the young girls celebrities by giving them fame and attention, and this is profoundly affecting the rates of teenage pregnancy in our society (Guglielmo 92). Moreover, it glamorizes and encourages teen pregnancy for fame and this is ambiguous for our young girls.
Similar, there is the series 16 and Pregnant, a TV show that features teens who are thrown in different parts of the world after learning that they are pregnant. Their life during pregnancy is recorded, to the time they give birth. Even though the show tries to air the problems and obstacles these teens go through during pregnancy and motherhood, it also glamorizes teenage pregnancy. This TV series makes teen pregnancy a fascinating idea, and this makes so many beautiful young girls getting pregnant in order to get on the show. Most teens will always get pregnant intentionally because they have a mindset that, getting pregnant is a ticket to stardom (Guglielmo 125).The girls on the show are made celebrities instead of being used to advise the other teens against becoming a teen mom. The TV series 16 and Pregnant creates stars out of the girls, instead of using them to help other young girls to study and avoid becoming young mothers before it is time.
While we are busy teaching our children abstinence and the use of contraceptives in order to reduce the growing number of teenage pregnancies, these TV shows are encouraging them. The TV shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” should be completely banned on our TV sets so as to save our innocent children from watching misleading contents. Instead of the shows showing our teens how to stop teenage pregnancy, they are glamorizing the issue, and this encourages them to become pregnant so as to relate to the actors. The Television shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” are about teenage girls involving themselves in irresponsible sexual activities that lead to cases of teen pregnancies. Most of our teens are addicted to these two TV shows yet they have detrimental effects on their teenage lives. The shows glamorize teenage pregnancy as well as teaching our teens that getting pregnant is an easy task as one can become a star. According to Vlahos, “It’s hard to say the shows aren’t glamorizing teen motherhood,” because it is obvious that, after watching these TV shows, our teens crave for fame and attention they can get after becoming pregnant (Vlahos 22 ). These kinds of messages are misleading to our teens because; most of them are becoming pregnant because they think they can become stars like the actresses in the TV shows.
According to Immell, most teen shows have attracted a lot of viewing from our teens (102). Unluckily, many parents are not aware of the type of shows their children watch because they do not even know the exact content of the show because they do not watch them. As a result, most teens are becoming pregnant especially after watching most reality TV shows. Since the characters in the TV shows are made celebrities by the shows, it is easy for our young girls to emulate them thinking that they will become stars too. It should be noted that, most young people will do anything just to become famous and appear on the covers of magazines. Putting these teen moms on magazine covers with the best makeup, ornaments and glamorous clothing sends a wrong message top out teens. Most of them will opt to get pregnant so that they can receive the same fame these teenage moms are receiving. Therefore, Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant TV show promotes teenage pregnancy because it sends a message to the teens that, becoming teen mom leads to fame (Women's Health Weekly). And if our teens are meant to believe this, there will be an increase in teenage pregnancies because, most of them are becoming pregnant so as to send applications to these teen pregnancy shows.
Apart from the pregnant teens becoming celebrities, they also make their mothers famous on the shows. As a result, the TV shows are falsifying information about teen pregnancy by making both the teen and the parent look classy. For instance, in Teen Mom, the teenage moms, and their mothers are always portrayed as classy women because of the fame and popularity the TV shows give them. The parents of such teens share a bad influence in the society because they breed a bad culture in their children. When they get happy when their children become famous, it is sending an appalling message to the society. In addition, the boys responsible for the pregnancy become more negligent and irresponsible men in the society. Additionally, they encourage more teenage pregnancy cases because; they want to become famous after their children are selected in the cast of the show.
The Major themes found in the Television Shows Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are Adoption and Sexuality. The teenagers on the show are made into celebrities after giving up their children for adoption as they are seen gracing several magazines. In Teen Mom, the young parents are seen giving their children for adoption, and this is also a negative influence on our teenage girls. Most of them will not fear getting pregnant because, they are sure that, they will give away their children for adoption and live a sensational life, full of money and fame. After becoming stars on reality TV shows, these teen parents do not care anymore about their children and they give them for adoption because they even do not have the time to take care of the baby. Instead of discouraging teenage pregnancies, they make the other teens feel that, teen mothers have a quality life that is enviable.
In addition, the teenage girls in the TV programs involve themselves in irresponsible sexual activities that lead to cases of teen pregnancies. With such a cast, our teenagers are misleading because; they watch these teens get pregnant and still live a glamorous life. Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant expose our teenagers to sexual activities. Initially, the show 16 and Pregnant series was designed to show our teens about how becoming a teen mom affects their lives through their website StayTeen.org. However, it has purely done the opposite because; its original intent was changed. Instead, it is encouraging teens to become pregnant so that they can walk in fame. According to Women health weekly, “The fact that teens in the study seemed to think that being a teen parent was easy might increase the likelihood that they'll engage in unsafe sexual practices" (Study). The show became a hit after some time, and it started showing how becoming a teen mom is cool. Comparably, the TV show Teen Mom is also promoting teenage pregnancy just like 16 and Pregnant. According to Guglielmo, these programs have made our teens to get involved in sexual activities just to get pregnant and get on the reality teen shows on MTV (79). The most affected during teenage pregnancies are the girls because they are forced to stop studying during pregnancy and most f hem even after birth. Therefore, these programs should stop misleading our young girls that becoming a teen mom is classy and glamorous because it affects their whole life.
On the other hand, there those who argue that, the Television shows Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant do not promote teenage pregnancies. According to economist, most teenagers will always avoid become pregnant while still a teen after watching these TV shows ("Tuned in, turned off; Reality television"). They argue that, it is okay for our young girls to watch these shows because; they get a good lesson out of the shows when they see the struggles the teen moms go through as young mothers. In addition, according to them, the popular TV show Teen Mom is all about the difficulties the teen fathers and moms experience in their relationships and as they try to take care of their babies (The Economist). Nonetheless, their arguments are overblown because, it is clear that these TV shows are promoting teenage pregnancy when they make the teen moms famous and glamorous. If the Teen Mom TV show is trying to show the teens the difficulties encountered after becoming a young parent, why should they make the girls look very classy and glamorous. Furthermore, it is obvious that, there is nothing classy and sensational about becoming a teenage mother (Kroll 102). In reality, when one becomes a teenage mother, it affects them emotionally, mentally, and physically. Even though it can be argued that, 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom can work in both ways, meaning they do promote as well as discourage teenage pregnancies. The producers should make sure that the shows does only one thing for the teens discourages teen pregnancy amongst our teenagers. If the shows confuse our young teens by promoting and discouraging teen regency incidents, then they are still misleading in the long run. Our teenagers will strive to be like the cast members in order to become famous and earn money as most of them say. Additionally, when one becomes a teen mom, she is forced to grow up quickly and take the accountability of becoming a parent at a younger age. So whatever these TV shows try to portray to our teens is a lie because, becoming a teen mom means becoming responsible, not classy and glamorous.
Reality TV programs such as Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant TV can be produced in a way to help teenagers avoid teenage pregnancies. In order to help reduce teenage pregnancies, reality television programs can focus on using real-life situations cases and characters. If real-life situations are used in these teen reality shows, most teenagers will be able to know the devastating effects of becoming a teen mom. Most young girls and boys who become teen parents are always forced to stop studying especially for the ladies (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy). They have to keep their education aside until they give birth and take care of the child, and this affects their future life. In fact, most of them even fail to attend college and these are the real-life situations that should be used in 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom TV shows.
In addition, they should stop making the young moms celebrities and famous. Instead, they should portray the everyday struggles of a teenage parent because of the wrong path they chose. Most of these reality shows portray the teen mothers as rich and classy, and this cannot help prevent teenage pregnancies but it helps promote (Kroll). Kroll adds that, “when teen moms become celebrities, the message to avoid teen pregnancy is lost,” in our reality TV shows for our teens (Kroll). But when these teen mothers are depicted as struggling and poor young mothers because of the decisions they made in life, it will help elevate the problem of teenage pregnancies. The members of the cast can be portrayed as people who made serious mistakes in life and can also be used to encourage other young people not to repeat their mistakes. Reality TV shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom TV should act as a cautionary tale to teenagers so as to help lessen teenage pregnancy incidents in our society. They should be told that it is hard to balance motherhood/parenting with their studies. Therefore, they should focus on studying first and avoid indulging in unprotected sex whose consequence is pregnancy. Most teenagers aspire to become young parents so as to make money as they are meant to believe while watching Teen Mom and the TV show 16 and Pregnant. If the producers of these teen reality shows stop instilling unrealistic in the minds of our teenagers, then the rates of teenage pregnancies will decrease. Besides, parents should take the responsibility of encouraging their children to abstain or have safe sex, so as to lower the number of teen pregnancy incidents (Farber 102). They should stop blaming MTV reality shows because; they can do their part by restricting their teens from watching these shows. Even so, these reality shows should put the future of our teens into consideration before creating series that can lure them into becoming teen moms just to get on the shows.
In conclusion, teenage pregnancy is a growing issue in our society today. The United States is recorded the highest number of teen pregnancy incidents because most teens are having unprotected sex, yet they are aware of the repercussions. The number of teens getting pregnant is on the increase and most reality TV shows, for instance, Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, are to blame. These reality shows have proved misleading to our young children because of the way they portray their actors. Despite the fact these teens are aware of the devastating consequences of teen pregnancies; they still go get pregnant just to relate their lives to the cast members of reality TV shows. Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant TV programs glamorize being a teen mom other than helping preventing teenage pregnancies. Therefore, these reality shows are promoting teenage pregnancies instead of joining the fight against the issue.
When watching these reality TV shows, teenagers feel that getting pregnant is a ticket to fame. Initially, these TV programs were created to make the youth understand the consequences of getting pregnant. However, as they became famous, instead of discouraging teens from sexual activities that lead to pregnancy, they started promoting the. Teen Mom and16 and Pregnant TV programs have played a big role in promoting teenage pregnancies because these girls want to be on the shows to become famous. These reality television shows affect the decisions teen makes about their sex life and pregnancy.

Works Cited

National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Across America: Preventing Teen Pregnancy in
California, Georgia, and Michigan. Washington, D.C: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2003. Print.
Guglielmo, Letizia. MTV and Teen Pregnancy: Critical Essays on 16 and Pregnant and Teen
Mom. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, Inc, 2013. Internet resource.
Farber, Naomi. Adolescent Pregnancy: Policy and Prevention Services. New York: Springer,
2009. Print.
Immell, Myra. Teen Pregnancy. San Diego, Calif: Green haven Press, 2000. Print.
Kroll, Susie. "Reality Television Shows Glamorize Teen Pregnancy." Teen Dating. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit: Green haven Press, 2013. Print.
Vlahos, Kelley Beaucar. "Born to consume: For MTV, teen pregnancy is big business." The American Conservative 10.7 (2011): 22+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.
"Study: Heavy viewers of 'Teen Mom' and '16 and pregnant' have unrealistic views of teen
pregnancy." Women's Health Weekly 30 Jan. 2014: 323. Academic One File. Web. 14 April. 2015. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-356984827.html
"Tuned in, turned off; Reality television." The Economist 18 Jan. 2014: 34(US). Academic
OneFile. Web. 14 April. 2015. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-355773103.html

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